Going to Germany!


December 18, 2013, 01:24 PM
Hello all! I've been away a while since I joined the service. Well, I'm going to be stationed in Germany for three years. I'm taking my wife as well so I'll be able to live off base.
So I'm curious as to what I might be able to enjoy while over there. Is anyone familiar with Air guns, Long Bows, or Crossbows over there?
My research tells me that they don't allow bow hunting. That seems silly, but what about Air guns? Can I enjoy those in my yard or home?
I'm sorry but I don't know what to expect? I can't take any of my cars, and guns look way too much trouble if I'm not a permanent resident.
Thanks for the help.

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December 18, 2013, 02:02 PM
I served a 2 year LDS mission in Nord Rein Westfalen. I can't tell you much about air guns but their firearm laws, in general, are very strict. I don't believe you will have much luck taking anything with you. I only remember seeing 1 civilian firearm the entire 2 years I was there.

You are in for some awesome food, awesome beer (Being LDS I skipped that part :) ), and awesome people! I found it pretty sad that most of the servicemen I met there tended to house on base, send their kids to school on base and eat on base. I really thought they were missing out. Since you have the opportunity to live off base, you will really be able to experience Germany.

Pretty much regardless of where you end up, will will never find enough time to see all of the history, art, etc. that Germany has to offer. I know I am sounding a little biased here, but I am truly jealous!

December 18, 2013, 04:07 PM
Your best bet is to take nothing. Once you get there look into the American Rod and Gun club if it still exists. Then look into local German Shooting clubs.

Hopefully you are learning some German as I type to help you get along. Schwing only got a few weeks at the Mission Training Center and he seems to have survived a lot more emersion than you are likely to be exposed to (bet he can still give the first lesson in German). I thought I spoke some German when I arrived back in 1973 but was informed by a German contractor that what ever I was speaking it was not German. Be aware that even with TV and radio and the internet that German dialects can be......interesting.

Do not plan on shooting anything in your back yard. Air guns are a drop dead serious bullseye sport in Germany, but expect to do your shooting at a club.

Don't know how much German/EU gun laws and such have changed since my last "visit" ended in 1982, but then BP guns were not on the weapons card and could be bought over the counter. This may be a time for you to get into BP shooting. My old club had one night a week dedicated to "smoke poles" and such rifles on the rifle range, handguns on pistol range #2 and scale cannons of Pistol range #1 as an example.

You did not say where you are going. I had no trouble finding clubs in Bavaria, but not so much luck in Hesse though as it happened just weeks before I left I found one a big 7 Km away from my apartment (in the direction of Frankfurt so I had avoided asking in that direction thinking closer to an urban area would be less likely to have a club.....stupid kBob, stupid)

If you purchase guns in Europe be sure you do so legally locally and service wise and start your paper work to import them at least 60 days (Better 120)before bringing them back. It used to be that returning service men got a break on customs/terriff/taxes for a small number of guns. Findout before you go. It used to be that some german clubs had storage facilities, but again I do not know if such is still true.

You might try contacting the DSB (the German NRA as it were) to find out if there are clubs in the area you will be that are accepting new members That reminds me that membership in many gun clubs in German used to be by election and one could be black balled as it were and denied membership if one were a jerk.

Good luck.


December 18, 2013, 04:17 PM
I'm sure glad nobody piped up about that whole "Ugh brah, OPSEC blah" thing.

I heard ramstein AFB is a nice place and I've heard about lovely german ladies...

I'm pretty sure slingshots are un-regulated but I wouldn't bring one with you.

December 19, 2013, 07:42 AM
Check out Jorge at the Slingshot Channel on YouTube.

December 19, 2013, 08:12 AM
I was stationed at Rhein Main AB from 1970 to 1973. there was a couple of nice gunshops in Frankfurt. one of them had a really nice 7 x 57 double rifle that I would have liked to have had but it was well out of E4 pay range. there was also a couple of good knife shops as well. I doubt that I could find them anymore. these shops had been there for long time when I was there so they might still be there.

December 19, 2013, 08:42 AM
Well, I really appreciate everything that you guys gave me advice on. Hopefully, I can have a great experience. You are right about learning German. My wife and I have been spending a lot of time on Duollingo learning as much as possible.

December 19, 2013, 08:55 AM
I taught a summer class (for our US students) a couple of years ago in Augsburg; nice place. Wonderful people. Work on your German, yes. This said, if you are polite and know enough words to get you close the vast majority (at least where we were) will know enough to help you out, right down to the folks working at the convenience stores (which we hit hard on a Sunday upon arriving very late Saturday and then finding out that regular shopping isn't open on Sundays).

Fascinating thing for me given what are most likely significant more restrictive laws about such things - between the tram stop near our flat and where I taught the summer class (at U of Augsburg) I walked past not less than three shops that sold various CO2 pellet guns - which were designed to look like classic handguns (e.g. Sigs, 1911s, Berettas, etc.). Another place had some really nicely finished O/U shotguns (although my judgement may not be the best on this as I don't own much more than a fairly pedestrian Remington or two). Prices on the pellet guns were generally well less than 100 euros (some under 50); the shotguns looked to be a little higher than what one might expect in the US (maybe just changed the dollar sign to a euro sign, which at the time represented about a 50-60% increase). Neither my German or their English was good enough to help me fully understand all the relevant details (and I was moving about traveling too much during that time to justify figuring it all out), but if somebody's selling them legally then somebody must be able to purchase them.

December 19, 2013, 10:10 AM
Guten Tag!


You can plink in your own home with airguns, if you want and have the space to set that up. Otherwise you are restricted to clubs.
Unless you have enough yard to set up backstops and nets for training with a bow.

Do you know where you will be?
I believe the farthest north US bases are is Hessen, near Frankfurt area.

Eat the good food, drink the cold beer, have fun.

December 19, 2013, 07:43 PM
guns look way too much trouble if I'm not a permanent resident.

No bowhunting in Germany. You'd have to go to a different EU country. http://www.europeanbowhunting.org/index.php/nations

You can shoot bows at NFAA clubs/ranges.

BTW, while OT for here, A buddy of mine just spent 5 years working there and he got his hunter certificate after he was there a year. Hunted as a guest of several properties and bought and kept rifles in his safe in his apartment. Of course the time and cost were "significant" compared to anything you'd imagine, but he was single and that's what he wanted to do.

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